Thromboprophylaxis Timing After Blunt Solid Organ Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Published:November 01, 2022DOI:



      Trauma patients with blunt abdominal solid organ injuries are at high risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE), but the optimal time to safely administer chemical thromboprophylaxis is controversial, especially for patients who are managed nonoperatively due to increased risk of hemorrhage. We sought to compare failure of nonoperative management (NOM) and VTE events based on timing of chemical thromboprophylaxis initiation.


      A systematic review was conducted in PubMed and Embase databases. Studies were included if they evaluated timing of initiation of chemical thromboprophylaxis in trauma patients who underwent NOM of blunt solid organ injuries. Outcomes included failure of NOM and incidence of VTE. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed comparing patients who received late (>48 h) versus early thromboprophylaxis initiation.


      Twelve retrospective cohort studies, comprising 21,909 patients, were included. Three studies, including 6375 patients, provided data on adjusted outcomes. Pooled adjusted analysis demonstrated no difference in failure of NOM in patients receiving late versus early thromboprophylaxis (odds ratio [OR] 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI]:0.4-2.14). When including all unadjusted studies, even those at high risk of bias, there remained no difference in failure of NOM (OR 1.16, 95% CI:0.72-1.86). In the adjusted analysis for VTE events, which had 6259 patients between two studies, patients receiving late chemical thromboprophylaxis had a higher risk of VTE compared with those who received early thromboprophylaxis (OR 1.89, 95% CI:1.15-3.12).


      Based on current observational evidence, initiation of prophylaxis before 48 h is associated with lower VTE rates without higher risk of failure of NOM.


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